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United Tribes Teacher Education program approved for baccalaureate degrees
North Dakota Approves First Step in Process
By Lisa Azure, UTTC Teacher Education Chair
25 March 2011

BISMARCK (UTN) - The North Dakota Education Standards and Practices Board has granted approval for United Tribes Technical College to offer its own baccalaureate program in Elementary Education. The ESPB is the agency that approves teacher education programs in the state.

      The college was informed March 10 that the board granted official approval and authorization for the college to begin admitting students to a baccalaureate program in Elementary Education.


FOCUSED FORWARD: Teacher Education students watch a video about "word walls" during a class session March 13 at United Tribes Technical College. From left, Nevada Allen (Three Affiliated), Yvonne Howling Wolf (Three Affiliated), Jodene Uses Many (Cheyenne River), Shyanne Schmaltz (Standing Rock) and Joelle Bearstail (Three Affiliated). All are students in the college's bachelors level teacher education program. DENNIS J. NEUMANN/United Tribes News

      For the past eight years, the Teacher Education Program has partnered with Sinte Gleska University, Mission, SD, to offer bachelor degrees in education to students on the UTTC campus. Based on the success of that partnership, and with the visionary support of President Gipp, the department initiated the process of offering and conferring bachelor degrees by United Tribes Technical College.

      ESPB approval is the first step in the process. The next and final one will be to gain approval from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. UTTC will host a visit from the NCA April 18-20.

      The North Dakota approval was preceded by a comprehensive, three-day program approval review in January by a team of eight education professionals. All were chairs of education at public and tribal colleges and universities in the state. The review included interviews with students, staff and faculty, along with members of the college administration. They also analyzed an extensive amount of college data, policies and procedures.

      The evaluation measured the education program, and the college, according to six unit standards of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. The Teacher Education Program provided evidence that the college, and students, have met the criteria established for a quality program. The site team determined that all six of the standards were met and they recommended approval to ESPB.

      As is typical with a new program, the ESPB approval is provisional. A follow-up visit is scheduled for 2014. In the meantime, further documentation and evidence will be gathered based on how United Tribes conducts the program. Most of the existing data came from the Sinte Gleska partnership.

      Members of the UTTC Teacher Education faculty extend a sincere 'Thank You' to all those on campus who participated in the site visit: President Gipp, the vice presidents, faculty (full time and adjunct), Wellness Director and staff, Career Placement, TJES, committee chairs, our librarian, and many others, too numerous to mention here, who contributed to this successful collaboration.

      Most important, we thank the past graduates of the Teacher Education partnership program, all licensed professional educators, and the current teacher candidates who shared their experiences with the team. There are external entities that determine an institution's capacity to prepare and graduate high quality teachers. Ultimately, we feel the success of our program is measured by the success of its graduates, of whom we couldn't be more proud.

 

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